The Upsetter: The Life & Music of Lee “Scratch” Perry Set for Release in Spring 2011

Apr 13, 2011

The Upsetter: The Life & Music of Lee “Scratch” Perry Set for Release in Spring 2011

Film’s Release to Include Select Screenings in U.S. Cities, Kicking Off at the March 25th Premiere at The Downtown Independent in Los Angeles

Directed By Celebrated Independent Filmmakers Ethan Higbee and Adam Bhala Lough and Narrated by Academy-Award Winner Benicio Del Toro

“…a fascinating exploration of the music business, one of its most innovative periods and one of its unsung heroes.” –
Vanity Fair

“…a never-before-seen look at the artist Rolling Stone calls “Reggae’s Mad Scientist” –

“The Salvador Dali of music.” - Keith Richards

Feature documentary The Upsetter: The Life & Music of Lee “Scratch” Perry will receive its much anticipated release in Spring 2011. The film’s release will include select screenings in cities across the U.S., including Portland, OR, Boulder, CO, Houston, TX, Boston, MA, and Detroit, MI, beginning with a premiere on March 25th at Los Angeles’ The Downtown Independent. Additional screenings will be announced in the coming weeks. The film will also be released on the iTunes Store, Video On Demand and on DVD available at, where the film’s trailer can now be viewed.

Directed and produced by celebrated independent filmmakers Ethan Higbee (Red Apples Falling, The Anti-Fascist, Basedworld ) and Adam Bhala Lough (Bomb The System, Weapons, The Carter ) and narrated by Academy Award-winning actor Benicio Del Toro, The Upsetter is a captivating, unparalleled exploration charting 70 years in the life of the Godfather of Reggae and the man behind Bob Marley - Lee “Scratch” Perry. Upon its world premiere at the 2008 SXSW Film Festival, The Upsetter received critical praise from both the independent film and music communities for its insightful look into the elusive personality and creative genius of one of the most legendary and pioneering music figures of our time.

Says Lee “Scratch” Perry, “Hallo to you my Peeples out there this is my movie of the Past AND the Present….Enjoy it God
Bless it Lee $cratch Perry Vi$$ions.”

Filmmaker/musician Ethan Higbee, who is currently directing Basedworld, a documentary on up-and-coming rapper Lil B, says, “This film uncovers the genius of Lee Scratch Perry. He’s stubborn, magical, hilariously crude yet the most spiritually driven person I’ve ever come across. For the first time, you get to see what lies behind the man who many consider to be the greatest music producer of all time.”

Filmmaker Adam Bhala Lough, who most recently directed the acclaimed and controversial 2009 ‘Lil Wayne documentary The Carter, says, “Every generation sees the arrival of one great reggae film. I am confident The Upsetter is that film for this generation and beyond.”

Academy Award winner Benicio del Toro, who narrates the film, says, “With the blessing of the legendary Lee Scratch Perry, Ethan Higbee and Adam Bhala Lough’s The Upsetter opens a window into the little-known story of one of the geniuses of Reggae music and, for that matter, of any kind of music. The Upsetter is a testament to the unique career of a true snow leopard. Yah, mon.”

“The Upsetter,” originally coined as the name of Perry’s record label, house band and first album title, eventually became a nickname that would grow to be his moniker to this day. Higbee and Lough tell Perry’s story through an exclusive in-depth interview with the notoriously reclusive artist, filmed at his remote hideout in Switzerland in 2006.

After infamously burning his renowned studio, The Black Ark, to the ground in a fit of rage during a time of personal
difficulty in the early 1980s, Perry took refuge in Switzerland to confront his demons, many of which he addresses in The

Seven years in the making, the film also features musical tracks and iconic archival footage selected from throughout Perry’s extensive career. These video footage gems and extraordinary photographs taken from the vaults of music history span nearly five decades and feature the likes of Bob Marley and the Wailers, Paul McCartney, The Clash and Beastie Boys, all of whom Perry produced, and speak to the breadth of his influence as a producer, artist and icon. The Upsetter is not only a fascinating character study of an artist who revolutionized music through the invention of dub, the predecessor to hip-hop, techno and modern electronic music, but a one-of-a-kind documentation of 30 years of Jamaican music and culture.

With a storied past and an indelible imprint not only on music history but the sound of music itself, Lee “Scratch” Perry - singer, songwriter, producer, poet, painter, genius and madman – has never been portrayed more accurately, thoughtfully or powerfully than he is in The Upsetter. For all of his enigmatic ways, this documentary might just be best described by this matter-of-fact statement from Lee “Scratch” Perry himself: “This is my movie and this is the truth.”

The Upsetter Screening Dates:
*Additional screenings to be announced in the coming weeks

more details on The Upsetter and the upcoming screenings, please visit:

To view the trailer, please visit:

For more information on The Upsetter, please contact:
Press Here
212 246 2640
Carleen Donovan / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Carla Senft / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)